FRIDAY 7 SEP 2012 10:22 AM


Just 404 miles and an leisurely seven hour drive up the M6 from London sits the Cumbernauld headquarters of Scotland’s iconic national drink: Irn-Bru. But that may change soon. Too soon, in the eyes of many Scots.

Irn-Bru manufacturer AG Barr announced merger talks with Essex-based drink maker Britvic, the UK’s second-largest soft drink company. The proposed merger would make the joint company worth £1.4 billion. In Scotland, the culturally exulted beverage outsells Coca-Cola, the only place in the world to do so. But a partnership with Britvic would mean a greater platform for brand promotion, distribution and increased sales south of the River Tweed.

There has been mass reaction to the proposed merger on social media sites. Scottish fans of Irn-Bru are using #savethebru and @keepitscottish to rally behind the national beverage. The Save the Bru Facebook page launched on Wednesday and has 176 likes and the Twitter campaign has attracted 685 followers.

This morning @keepitcottish tweeted, “We are the best nation in the world and shedding the Irn Bru stereotype might as well mean we burn all our tartan and burn the history books.”

AG Barr has produced Irn-Bru for 111 years and employs 950 people, most located in Cumbernauld. The Britvic merger would bring Irn-Bru under auspices of the same distributor as Pepsi, a competing brand. The deadline for announcing the merger is 3 October.